Honored Kid

Dennis (DJ) Patterson Jr

Dennis (DJ) Patterson Jr Kid Photo


Louisville, OH, US


CD99 small round cell sarcoma with Ewing Sarcoma-like features

Date of Diagnosis

February 2018



Treated At

Akron Children's Hospital

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My Story

Thank you for supporting me and the more than 300,000 kids worldwide who will be diagnosed with cancer this year. By sharing the gifts of your time, talent and money with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, you're supporting research to give all kids with cancer a better chance for a cure.

DJ was a very active 8 year old boy. He was an avid soccer player, loved playing football and basketball. If it was a nice day out, he was outside shooting hoops, throwing the football or kicking the soccer ball around the yard. That is why on a nice weekend in January of 2018 we knew something was not right with him. He played indoor soccer that Saturday morning and he asked his coach if he could sit out the start of the game. DJ always started so this was not normal. The weather outside was fairly nice out that weekend. That’s why when DJ just laid around on the couch that weekend, we knew that was not normal for him. On Monday morning, we decided to take him to his pediatrician just to have him checked to be on the safe side. His doctor found nothing wrong, no fever, lungs sounded clear, no sign of any sickness. But just to be on the safe side, he decided to send DJ for a chest X-ray just to make sure. We took DJ for the X-ray and never thought anything more about it. I dropped him off at school the next morning before I headed to work. Upon arriving at work, I received a phone call from DJs doctor stating they found a tumor in his left chest cavity. Everything happened so fast after that. We pulled DJ from school as his doctor wanted him to go to the hospital to have another test done. They wanted to confirm what they had found. Sure enough the other test showed the same thing. We took DJ to Akron Children’s Hospital the following day where we met with a surgeon. He explained he was going to go in and remove the tumor. At that point we knew there was a 50/50 chance of it being cancer. They scheduled surgery for DJ on February 9, 2018. DJ was so scared about having surgery. If we could have taken his place we would have. It was so heartbreaking watching him being rolled back to the operating room and there was not a darn thing we could do for him. We will never forget sitting in the waiting room waiting for our names to be called to let us know how DJ’s surgery went. Then we got the call that he was out of surgery and moved to recovery. The doctor wanted to see us so they took us to this room where we patiently waited for the doctor to come in the room and let us know how it went. The words “DJ has cancer” was not what we expected to hear. At that time they were not sure what kind of cancer it was so they sent the tumor away. We had to wait for DJ to heal from his surgery plus wait until they found out what kind of cancer it was before they could start treatment. We were told every kind of cancer has its own “recipe” so they need to know what kind of cancer it was. After about 5-6 weeks of waiting to hear back from the oncologist and DJs tumor growing back in that amount of time, they finally admitted him into Akron Children’s Hospital to start his treatment. They advised us that DJ had Ewing’s Sarcoma. DJ fought this ugly disease for 14 months. 14 months of on and off hospital stays, whether it was to get chemo or he was running a fever. We also lived at the Ronald McDonald house in Akron for a couple months while DJ got his radiation treatment at Akron General Hospital. During this battle, you hardly ever heard DJ complain. The kid almost always had a smile on his face. We never kept nothing from him. We promised DJ from the start we were going to fight this battle as a family and we are proud to say we lived up to that promise. DJ was the strongest kid we knew. He went thru so much during those 14 months and the kid almost always had a smile on his face. DJ lost his battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma on April 20, 2019 at the age of 10. He was surrounded by his family and friends when GOD took him home and made him pain free. By this time, it had spread to his pelvic area, he had a tumor behind his eye, had gone to his spine in which they did emergency surgery on him. He had no feelings in his legs and was in a wheelchair. It was so so unfair. He did not deserve this, no child deserves this. No parent should have to bury their child. He will always be a HERO to us - OUR HERO. He touched the lives of many during those 14 month and he still continues to do so even now #89FOREVER

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